A leaked draft of a United Nations report says two Singapore-based companies have violated U.N. sanctions by supplying luxury goods to North Korea.
The BBC first came out with a story on the report saying that the two firms are under investigation. The firms are identified as OCN and T Specialist which also happen to be sister companies and share the same director.
The leaked draft alleges that among the products the companies supplied to the rogue nation include wine and spirits, until as recently as July 2017.
Selling luxury goods to North Korea whether directly or indirectly is a clear violation of a U.N. sanction against the Kim Jong Un-led state. The U.N. leaked report also says that transactions valued at more than $2 million between 2011 to 2014 flowed freely from an account that the companies in question set up in a North Korean bank, Daedong Credit Bank, to T Specialist’s bank accounts in Singapore.
The report cited anonymous sources and alleged that OCN formed joint ventures to operate two small high-end department stores in Pyongyang. The stores are said to sell luxury items such as cosmetics, handbags, watches, and liquor from popular international brands.
Both companies have denied the said allegations. OCN director for Singapore Ng Kheng Wah told the local Singapore Channel News Asia that such claims against their company were “baseless” and “fake.” He said OCN pulled out from North Korea five years ago and has never been involved in the trading of luxury goods.
The final report has been forwarded to the UN Security Council, and there’s a chance that it will be published later this week.
The Singapore government has admitted that it is aware of the cases and is working closely with the U.N. Panel. The state also vowed to quickly conduct investigations of its own once it establishes credible information of offenses.